Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Baby Market, Cork

The other week myself and the lovely Fiona went to the The Baby Market here in Cork to off load some of our baby stuff that our boys no longer use or need. The Baby Market is a regular event that runs around the country in different locations rotating approximately every 6 weeks, it's a place to find a bargain or make a few bob on anything baby / toddler / maternity related.
I've been a fan of The Baby Market set up since someone told me about them back when I was expecting Luke in early 2013. I first went to the event in Cork in the Barres GAA club, venue was a bit a small but it didn't take away from the bargains to be had. I managed to pick up lots of essentials like a bath, changing mat, sleepbags, newborn neutral clothes that weren't just white, playmats etc all at a fraction of the brand new price and these items were in great condition. So it only made sense that when my spare room began to fill up with all of the things Luke no longer used that I would return to The Baby Market as a seller this time.
The venue has since changed to Rochestown Park Hotel which is so much better and it's allowed the event to grow in my opinion as there is so much more room for stalls to sell and customers to comfortably look at everything for sale.
Signing up is simple, I visited their website and enquired about a stall and received an email with a pay pal invoice to confirm my place. It's €25.00 per stall. Our place was reserved and we arrived at 10am that morning to set up our area, we had a lot of stuff and took full advantage of the 2 hours beforehand to get ready. At 12pm the doors opened and in came the customers. The event ran for 2 and a half hours and it was great fun. I've been a few times now but it's always nicer to have someone on the stall with you to chat with. It's a great pace to meet new people too, customers as well as other sellers, it's nice to be able to impart some wisdom as well to some of the expectant mother's who stop by the stall. We managed to get rid of few big items this time around which was great because we couldn't face loading up the cars again with it all!

Of course I can never leave without having a look around for a bargain myself although I wasn't successful this time because I saw a fabulous wooden rocking chair for toddlers for sale and I went back for it and it was gone, I was not impressed!
There are also stalls that aren't selling second hand stuff but things like baby massage classes, gymboree, handmade products, homeopathy etc.
I bought 2 things from these stalls and my own personal recommendations are:

Rhymes For Remedies by Jackie Griffin Synnott

I've been meaning to get this book for ages. I'm a big fan of the alternative option, the homeopathic route for remedying any ailments with Luke so this book is ideal for learning the basics. It's set to children's nursery rhymes so easy to remember too. It's a great introduction into the world of homeopathy. As you can see in the picture the books are 15euro and can be purchased here.

Snugglebugs.eu


I love love love these custom buggy liners especially this star design! Our buggy is all colour coordinated with a cosy toes and bag but if it wasn't I would definitely invest in one of these. They also do seat liners, strap pads, dummy / toy clips in really funky designs. I picked up a dummy clip with a star design for 5euro with a much stronger clip which means Luke hasn't been able to pull it off. You can visit their Etsy shop here

The Baby Market seems to be expanding quite fast and they seem to be adding new locations all of the time, if there is one on in your area soon I would definitely recommend you go for a look.



Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car*

We received a super cool package in the post last week for review in the shape of the Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car.
The Smart Stages is a brand new range of toys from Fisher Price allowing babies and toddlers to explore the world in an innovative way. There is 3 stages to the Crawl Around Car starting at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months. The toy adapts the older the child gets by changing the settings with the manual switch to Level 1, 2 or 3.
Level 1 is for when babies are learning their first words and experiences feedback. Level 2 is encouragement in building on learning and level 3 is role play.

It's actually much bigger than I expected, we had to build the car from the pieces provided which was very easy. You are given stickers to put on certain parts of the car once it's built (my alphabet may be a bit lopsided though!) I left it on the living room floor for Luke to see in the morning, well it was like Santa had been early. He is delighted with it.
He spent ages figuring it all out and testing all of the buttons to hear what they say. I think his favourite is turning the key as if to start the car. My favourite is the windscreen wiper on the front that changes from night to day and from sunshine to rain.
There's a door on the left hand side that opens and closes very easily, Luke is all business when he gets in and shuts the door behind him. On the door also is 3 shape inserts, a circle, square and triangle with the corresponding shapes. Luke is flying it with putting the right shapes into the right insert, he gives himself a big clap after each one. He spent much of the first day figuring that out.
On the other side is an insert for 3 balls to go into and they roll down a slope, this keeps him very entertained. He then likes to throw them out, run after them and out them in from the opposite side again. There's a little petrol cap that makes noise when you turn it and the wheels are slightly off the floor so he loves to turn them around and have look at the stickers on them.
It's light enough for Luke to move it around the floor by himself. Every morning so far it's the first thing he goes for, there's so many features on it to keep him entertained and he's remembering the sounds each button or dial makes now. His other toys are a bit neglected although that suits me fine because he was beginning to enjoy emptying out the ball pond numerous times a day far too much!
The car itself stores away quite neatly, while it's big it's not too big or an obstruction in the living room.
Here are a few snaps, we were very impressed with the Fisher Price Smart Stages Crawl Around Car.










Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Me & Mine September

I am much later with this month's post than I had planned on but I left the laptop at work, it genuinely felt like I was without one of my limbs but here I am, we are, with this month's Me & Mine :)

September saw us all slowing down a notch, phew! My hours at work have reduced again until next Summer and I now have 3 days off instead of 2. This extra day is so important to me and my time with Luke, by the end of August I was really beginning to feel the strain of being away from him for that extra day. We have settled nicely into a routine on our Friday off together, we had planned on going to a toddler group on these mornings but so far we've spent them catching up with friends and celebrating family birthdays. We will be hoping to make a toddler group of some kind this month, Luke loves to be around other children.
I finally managed to get a hair cut in September, first time since January, how sad! I love going to the hairdressers and I've finally found someone who listens to what I say and understands my preciousness about my long hair!
The Dog got neutered in September too, he's like a different dog altogether, he's so much calmer and manageable. We've bonded quite a bit and he loves nothing more than to cuddle up next to us. I should really feature him in one of our Me & Mine pictures.
I really feel like September's pictures capture Luke's personality, he's a real smiler and a happy chatterbox.

Anyway, here it is, our family portrait for September, taken at 8am in the morning before I headed off out for work:






This month Luke loves:

  • Chatting, chatter chatter chatter all day long even in his sleep
  • Telling the Dog to sit
  • Emptying his ball pond onto the sitting room and laughing while I run around trying to pick all the balls up
This month Dad loves:
  • The release of FIFA 15
  • Teaching Luke to "Big Squeeze" where he throws his arms aorund you gives you a big hug
  • Purchasing flight tickets for an overnight trip to Manchester
This month Mum loves:
  • An extra day off work in the week
  • Meal planning
  • Getting a "Big Squeeze" off Luke 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Trip To Garryvoe

We are trying to squeeze in as much outside time as we can while the days are still sunny and warm before the Winter settles so we thought today we would take a spin to a nearby beach. Myself, Luke and Katie hopped into the car and drove to Garryvoe in East Cork where we took a walk along the beach, played in the play ground and got some ice cream. It was a bit of a blustery day down there but that didn't stop Luke, no need for a buggy today, he was following in Katie's footsteps! I love seeing these two together, Luke adores Katie and he tries to copy everything she does.
I'm hoping all that sea air will help him to sleep soundly tonight.

Here's some pictures from our day out :

Slightly windswept


He looks so small on the vast beach

Where she goes, he follows



Collecting stones




Daredevil, this was actually quite a steep slide




Three Best Friends


Hope everyone had a lovely Sunday


Friday, 12 September 2014

Luke at 15 Months

I was going to finish the updates after the first birthday but have decided to do them quarterly because well since he turned 1 he's increased those energy levels and I just don't have the bloody time for the cutesy monthly updates right now!
Anyway Luke is now 15 months, holy moses I never thought I'd have a 15 month old! These past 3 months have gone by so fast since we celebrated his first birthday and he is changing everyday.
I very much have a toddler on my hands now, his baby stage is almost gone and he is growing more independent by the second.
This kid understands everything and I know when he pretends not to as well the pup. He knows now that rubbish belongs in the bin and toddles over to put it in there, the other morning he brought me my shoes to put into my bag and at long last he holds his own bottle. He only decided to do this in recent weeks but I still help him at bedtime when he's getting sleepy.
We have lots of chatter now and a few words, mostly "Ma", "Dada", sometimes "Baby" and more recently "Shoe Shoes", this one is very cute to hear. He called out "Mammmmmmmy" the other day, I anticipate I will be hearing this in the high pitched tone for years to come. Just this morning he banged on the bathroom door while I was in there, "Ma", "Maaaaaaa" and then some baby jibberish, I'd love to know what he was tying to tell me.
Luke had his first haircut recently, a bit emotional, I'm not going to lie! I have his first curl tucked away safely for his memory box.
He is a ball of energy and loves nothing more than to be outside running around, he loves helping his Grandad in the garden and it's very cute to watch them go about their business. He's become so much more playful and interactive with us these days, the 40 minutes or so before bedtime are spent playing and messing about on the floor where he uses us as human climbing frames!
His appetite is pretty much the same, he's a still a grand grubber but some days he doesn't always feel like his meals but that's ok. He will however more than happily help you eat your food from your plate though! He loves water so we get him the kids bottles from Tesco or Aldi and he drinks about one a day.
Sleeping is still going good, although a bit disturbed lately as he has been teething but nothing major. He now has 12 teeth. He does 12 hours most nights and still has 1 1/2 - 2 hour naps a day. He's out of the sleep bag due to the hot weather and I don't see him wanting to go back into it during the Winter either.
We are on to his second pair of shoes, he's now a size 5H. He's in between sizes with his clothes at the moment, he's a 12 -18 month waist but still 9 - 12 month height.

Every day he never ceases to amaze me, he such a friendly loving little boy who comes over to you throughout the day just to give you a kiss or a hug or sit down for a small cuddle. As always he makes me the proudest Mamma :)

His Dad was not too impressed with this outfit choice, however his Grandad was only too happy to have him showing his support for the Deise :) 




Thursday, 4 September 2014

Clothing For The New Season

I've made a few new purchases recently for Luke's wardrobe for this Autumn season as he has outgrown some of his clothes and it's now time to start putting away the Summer clothes. He has been living in shorts all Summer so I had to stock up on some slightly warmer bits and pieces.

Here's what we purchased:

How cute is the 'Truck' suit?! I couldn't leave this behind, it's ideal for the chill that will be creeping into the days soon. There's also the essential tracksuit pants for those lounge about days at home. These bits are from Heatons



















I love dungarees! I actually picked up this dungaree set earlier in the year in the sale. The cute striped tshirt will be ideal for dressing up a pair of jeans for one of Luke's play dates. These pieces are from Tesco

















Look at these adorable long sleeved t-shirts! I love the design on them and they are just perfect for Winter clothing. They were a bargain price of €2. I picked up a pair of navy blue jeans too to go with the tops. These bits are from Penneys


















These items were actually a surprse buy when I popped into the shop for a few groceries. The fox jacket is so soft and has cute little ears on the hood. I had been looking for a nice pair of beige pants for Luke too when I found the ones in the picture. These items are from Lidl


















There's nothing nicer than putting super cute pyjama's on Luke after his bath and how adorable are these lion and elephant pyjamas?! He even did a little roar when I showed him the lion ones!

















When I saw these vests and sleep suits I just HAD to get them...they have cameras on them?! How appropriate for my little poser and his picture taking Mama?!

These and the pyjama's above are both from Tesco








And here's a picture of my little man posing in his new pj's, well what you can see of them seeing as he insisted on holding on to his bear :)


Monday, 1 September 2014

There's Something About September

I love September, it's probably my favorite month. It stems from my childhood when we used to go back to school. I used to love the anticipation of going into a new class, a new school year, getting to use all of my new pens and pencils, my perfectly neat and clean school books in my bag in order of size ready to be used. I was a neat freak about those things. It's still a story that gets told by my friends how particular I was about my pencil case and it's contents in primary school. (all of the pencils pens, ruler and rubber had to be lined up perfectly!) I used the same school bag for my last 4 years of school, you know one of those Jansport bags that were all the rage once. It had badges from Kerrang! stuck on the front and a Winnie The Pooh key ring on the zip. I had saved up my babaysitting money in 1st year to buy one myself because the Mother said they were too expensive. I proudly went into Mahers Sports in Cork city and got it just before starting 2nd year in the September. I remember excitedly getting my school uniform out and ready the week before we would go back to school, all my copies would have my name on them ready to be filled in once the school year kicked off. I would painfully mark my school journal with all of the important dates in it like birthdays, the Christmas GAA disco, the school holidays, I might even add in some school notes. Of course it was also compulsory to get everyone to sign your journal too, the more covered in people's signatures it was the better.
September signals the end of the Summer, a time for the routine to come back and the adventures of the Summer to wind down. I crave routine and loved the security of it during the school year. It was a time to knuckle back down to some hard graft with homework and all that. I love how throughout the month of September the warm weather begins to fade and by the end of the month Autumn has slipped in and it's time to start putting that jumper back on. The carefree ways of the Summer months with the sun are no longer.
In my job, working in student accommodation I still have the same kind of experience. We see the busy Summer period ending and we start to slow down. We no longer have to work weekends or longer days and once we have all of our student heads on beds we can breathe a sigh of relief that another Summer season is over and a new academic year is beginning. There's new faces to see and we are 9 to 5er's once again.
September tells me that Winter is on it's way and this is my favorite season. It tells me that there's lots of cosy night's by the fire coming, that we will have stew for dinner again to keep us warm on those cold days, that I can start to bring the scarves out maybe even buy a few more from Penneys to add to my collection, get the coats out of the cupboard and stock up on the teabags, nothing like a nice warm cuppa on a cold day.
As much as I love the Summer months with all the lovely weather, different events and activities, bbq's, late evenings with lots more daylight, bedtimes that are later than usual, leaving the back door open all evening and hearing the kids playing outside until 10pm, I also love the calmness that comes in September when everyone is back at school, the holidays are over and and there's a stillness in the evenings as the days get shorter.
For me this year September also means that I go back to a 4 day working week which gives me an extra day at home with Luke, an extra 24 hours to watch him grow, to cuddle with him on the couch, to go on adventures together, to find some puddles to splash in, some leaves to crunch on and this is what I'm really looking forward to.
There is just something about September that makes me breathe a sigh of contentment.